Emily Progin, Content Manager
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COMMUNITY RALLYING TO FUEL HOPE FOR 14-YEAR-OLD WITH DISABILITIES
Fundraising Will Help Family of Zain Ali Improve His Mobility and Access
EDMOND, Okla.—The Edmond community is rallying to provide help and hope to 14-year-old Zain Ali, who is living with multiple disabilities. To keep Zain mobile, healthy, and independent, his family needs a safe accessible van and a more accessible living space. That’s why his loved ones in Edmond are fundraising with the national nonprofit Help Hope Live.
Zain is living with multiple mobility-impacting diagnoses, including spina bifida, scoliosis, and hydrocephalus. He uses a wheelchair for day-to-day mobility. In many ways, he is still an average 14-year-old—Zain attends Summit Middle School and loves playing video games, reading books, and spending time with his three siblings: Mujtaba, 16; Afnan, 12; and Rudaina, 5. He is a member of the OKASA Youth Wheelchair Basketball league.
Zain’s family immigrated from Iraq as asylum-seekers during a time of danger and unrest in their home country—their Oklahoma church community provided a safety net and a strong source of support throughout the transition. Zain was born in Oklahoma in 2009, and they moved to Norman in 2015. They relocated to Edmond in 2019 to help secure long-term employment.
Today, father Tamam is a lecture assistant in biology and ornithology, and mom Alaa works in childcare. While both are full-time workers, their income is too low to provide Zain with the life-changing health and mobility equipment he needs to thrive.
“We are looking for better jobs so we can help our kids and improve our life,” explained Tamam. “We want to be able to give Zain his every wish.”
While caring for Zain and their other children, Tamam and Alaa experienced huge health setbacks of their own. In 2017, Tamam was diagnosed with colon cancer, and Alaa was diagnosed with breast cancer. They pursued intensive treatment, but they still struggle with the long-term health impacts of the diagnoses while providing for their family.
To help lift the overwhelming financial burden Zain’s family is facing for an accessible van and a wheelchair-friendly living environment, the Edmond community is partnering with the national medical fundraising nonprofit Help Hope Live.
Donations can be made at: https://helphopelive.org/campaign/22365/
As his father Tamam explained, an accessible van and living space represent more than just mobility to Zain – for the 14-year-old, they are huge steps towards greater independence: “This will really help him to feel independent. He will finally be able to move without relying on our help.”
Unlike a GoFundMe campaign, donations to Help Hope Live are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all funds raised will be managed by the nonprofit to cover verified medical and related expenses. Help Hope Live verifies medical and financial need for every patient.
Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in secure, tax-deductible fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $172 million to pay patient expenses. ###Written by Emily Progin